Nostalgia and Christmas

Today we put up our Christmas tree.

As I was unpacking ornaments, I found this one:

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I bought it from the Christmas ornament store in Victoria, BC when we were there for our FET transfer last January. I always buy a new ornament whenever I travel. Even though it ¬†wasn’t out first time to Victoria, I knew I had to get this ornament. It reminded me of the socks MLACs bought for me which I wore during the transfer. It was meant to signify the hope we had going into that transfer for bringing home our rainbow baby.

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It brought tears to my eyes to find the ornament. I’m so grateful for all of the blessings we have received this year – especially for the fact that Wyatt is here.

He doesn’t enjoy trimming the tree as much as I do. ūüėÄ

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The dreaded red and a trip back to the OB

On Thursday, I was all excited. There were only 2 days to go until we passed the timeline of when we lost our Emme. Things were going so smoothly.

Until the afternoon…

I have been feeling a bit bunged up this week. I know I need to get on top of it before it gets bad, but I wasn’t on my game. I went to the bathroom. It was a typical constipated poop. And I strained a bit to get it out.

Then, I wiped.

Pink.

Red.

Reddish-brown.

OH GOD! Please no! 

The spotting tapered off over the hour to only brown, but the brown latest up until yesterday morning.

Mr. Google declared spotting after a bowel movement to be a fairly common occurrence. If you have a sensitive cervix, the extra pressure could have caused the bleeding.

My fertility clinic said to just take it easy until our upcoming scan on Wednesday, but I knew I couldn’t go through the weekend wondering if my baby was ok or not. My fear¬†was getting the best of me.

I called my OB and got in late yesterday afternoon. He did a scan on his super crappy portable ultrasound machine. He was having a hard time getting a clear picture because my bladder was too full. Unfortunately from my angle, I could NOT see a thing. He said that the baby was significantly larger than the last scan and that there was a flicker of a heartbeat. We didn’t get to hear it though. My husband was able to see it all. When I sat up, the image he had left on the screen was barely anything to be satisfied with. The OB reassured me that everything should be fine. He also sent¬†me for blood work to check my hormone levels.

When I left, I was still a bit panicked. I’m a facts and figures kind of person. I wanted to know the exact size the baby had grown and how many beats per minute. My husband was super excited though. He said the baby was bigger and he most definitely saw the heartbeat. Seeing his excitement calmed me down.

My friend who also had this OB said he’s a man of less words when everything is fine. If something is wrong, he is very thorough. I guess that is also reassuring.¬†I wish his office had better technology, but I am happy with his personality and his level of availability. I know a few other OBs in my city that you would rarely be able to get a same day appointment with. This OB is always willing to ensure you feel comfortable. Plus, he knows my history from doing my ectopic surgery. His on-call rotation include a few¬†other top OBs in our city. I know I will be in good hands no matter what.

As of last night, all spotting was gone. I’m back on the disgusting fibre drink my Naturopathic Doctor gave me and I’ve upped my water intake.

Today I am 7 weeks, 2 days. This is officially the most pregnant I’ve ever been – a milestone I was looking forward to reaching. ūüôā

Our next – official – ultrasound is this Wednesday, March 4. I’m so looking forward to a good view of my babe and hearing that whoosh whoosh for the first time.

Navigating the next 2WW

Pregnancy symptoms mean so much to you after you have endured infertility treatments and pregnancy loss.¬†Every twitch, ache, stomach flip, hot flash and wave of exhaustion validates that your body is growing a baby. This morning, I had my first major nausea episode. I was getting ready for work when it came on. I dry heaved over the toilet and the sink, but didn’t actually throw up. I’ve been feeling fine since then.

My friend Alicia from ladylovenandbabydust recommended the Ovia Pregnancy and Pregnancy+ apps. I’ve been following them daily for updates. Right now, my baby’s spleen is starting to appear. Absolutely¬†Fascinating!

I’m 6 weeks, 4 days today. Each time I see that number increase, I feel some relief. There’s 9 days til our first official ultrasound. Although we got a sneak peak in the OB’s office last week, we didn’t ask to hear a heartbeat.¬†I will feel much better¬†after our next appointment.

With my hormonal irritability and my anxiousness for our next scan, I haven’t been as centered¬†the past couple of days. There’s a few lingering family/friend issues that are bothering me. I’m going to sit down tonight ¬†to do a mediation exercise that my fertility coach sent me called, “Releasing Energetic Ties that Bind”. I have some forgiveness and releasing work to do. I want to get back to a place where I’m 100% focused on my husband, myself and our baby.

As much as I want to fast-forward into the 2nd trimester, I keep reminding myself to appreciate this time. Even though there is some uncertainty, there is much joy and happiness.

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When the night changes

On that unforgettable night in the hospital, my life changed forever.

Confirmed ectopic rupture.

Emergency surgery.

They put me under and when I awoke hours later, my baby was gone. I was no longer pregnant. I was missing my left fallopian tube.

Bruised.

Scarred.

Scared.

Broken.

For quite a while, I was afraid of the night.

It felt like each sleep brought me farther away from what was; what we once had. Each time the sun set, I longed to go back to before. Surely, if I went back there would be something I could have changed.

Did I do something wrong?

Did I not want her enough?

As the darkness crept in, I laid in bed crying as my heart broke over and over again. Night after night, I knew I would have to face my own fears, regrets, sorrow and grief.

I longed for comfort.

I longed for my baby.

I longed to not feel empty.

The night scared me because I didn’t know what the next day would bring.

The lyrics of Night Changes by One Direction contain so much truth:

“Everything that you‚Äôve ever dreamed of
Disappearing when you wake up
But there’s nothing to be afraid of
Even when the night changes”

With this pregnancy, I don’t fear the night.

I’ve accepted that we don’t know what tomorrow brings. So much of life is beyond our control. There was nothing I could have done to prevent loosing our baby girl. Those sorrow-filled nights allowed me to blossom into a more understanding, compassionate and self-aware woman.

This time, the darkness is comfort. It envelopes my body and soul allowing me to obtain the necessary rest I need to grow my baby, our 2nd child, inside my womb.

Each day forward is positive progress as my baby grows bigger and stronger. I find strength in waking up each morning, placing a hand on my growing belly, and knowing that my baby is safe and sound. With each daylight, I am one day closer to bringing my baby home.

The night no longer scares me. It is my sanctuary of hope.

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Thank you Justine for reminding me to write my light. XO 

For all the Mama’s awaiting their rainbows

I’ve been struggling to find words lately, lost in a temporary spell of writer’s block.

I would¬†share this¬†article with¬†all Mama’s who are currently waiting for the arrival of their rainbows. XO¬†

This piece Dear Sweet Mama… Your Courage Roars was written by Angela Miller and originally posted on Standing Still Magazine.

Dear Sweet Mama… Your Courage Roars,

Courage, n.

It doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It means boldly staring fear in the face and declaring,fear will not win.

Not this time.

You’re doing this. No matter what. And I know you know how many panic-attack-inducing-pee-your-pants-break-your-heart scenarios can trade places with what.

But you’re doing this anyway. Again.

Despite your fear, despite your second guessing. Despite your broken heart. Despite that you’re not “healed” from last time and never will be. Despite the flashbacks and panic attacks drenched in sweat that still wake you up in the middle of the night from your empty arms still searching, pleading, begging, aching to be filled with the onlychild who can gild the cracks of your broken heart. Despite that you’re not sure you trust your body anymore. Despite that the God you used to believe in still feels like a cruel stranger. Despite the fact that it could happen all over again. Despite that you have no control over the outcome. Despite that all you can do is hope beyond hope that the stats will stack in your favor by filling your arms with a miraculous crying baby at the end of these long nine months.

You are beautifully, beautifully brave.

How I wish I could tell you– you are guaranteed this. You should be– but you and I both know there are no guarantees. There is only now.

And you’ve got this now. This, I know.

In your broken places is where your true strength lies. Where you’ve cracked open is where you’re ever strong. It’s where the light shines through. It’s why you shine. It’s where your fearless mama courage roars even when it’s only whispering or barely breathing in-between choking sobs. It’s the birthplace of your sacred strength.

You glow pregnant with new life, but also pregnant with love, with bravery, and with the fierce determination of a soul that knows suffering yet refuses to roll over and surrender.

Fear will not win. Not now, not ever.

Even in the whispers of the night, from the trenches of your tear soaked pillow, your courage roars. Even when you feel like you’ll never make it another step forward, your courage roars. Even when the panic of sheer fear is overtaking your body, your courage roars. Even when you can barely speak your truth because terror has clasped your mouth shut again– your courage roars. You roar like a lioness pacing her den, keeping careful watch over her cubs. You roar with the fiercely tender love that is quintessentially mother.

Despite the risks, you’ve chosen love again. Despite the odds, you’ve chosen to breathe life– again. And for some, this isn’t the first time. You’ve chosen it again and again and again. That’s courage. Choosing to let your heart beat to the drum of hope and love even though the clanging of fear often rings louder and truer.

You deserve this.

All of it.

The pregnancy glow, the joy of feeling your baby move within you, the burgeoning hopes and dreams, the new beginnings, the sacredness of carrying new life, the birthing of more love. More hope. More healing.

You deserve this widening of your family circle and the widening of your broken, mending heart. You deserve the blessings that are raining down on you now. Let them soak you through.

This baby was sent to offer you a gift. Take it. It’s meant especially for you.

Swim wholeheartedly in the sacred sea of life. Allow hope to buoy you up like a lifeboat. When the waves of grief threaten to drown you, tread water and keep breathing like it’s your job. Let the anxiety, fear, and sorrow flow right through you. Cry. It’s as healing as healing is. And remember to make room for the beauty of this very moment. And the next. And every one that follows.

The time is now, sweet mama. It’s the only guarantee. The secret is simply to be. Right here, right now– with your baby.

You can do this. You already are.

Alchemize this pregnancy into a never-before-written love story between you and your precious baby. Say yes to what is beautifully healing, say no to what is not. Make room for gorgeous new memories to bloom alongside the old. Fill this time with as much hope as you can muster, infuse it with anything and everything that makes your grieving heart smile and massages your baby with laughter and joy. Joy is not a betrayal, it’s your birthright, and it’s your baby’s too. Once you allow yourself to fully taste it again I promise it will be sweeter than it ever has been.

You deserve the blessings that are raining down on you now. All of them. Let them soak you through.

The time is now is now is now is now.

Courage, n. It doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It means boldly staring fear straight in the face and roaring, fear will not win. Not now, not ever.

Love will. And love never dies.

   
 photo by Angela Miller
 
Roar on, courageous mama.  Roar on.

A state of loving non-attachment

My intentions for this weekend were:

  • to distract my mind from Monday’s beta results
  • to be gentle with myself and do what my mind/body needs
  • to feel peace and love

It’s been fairly easy to stay in neutral territory this weekend. We’ve kept ourselves busy and I’ve stayed off the internet as much as possible.

Friday night, my husband called his Aunt and asked if we could come for supper. Whenever we are both anxious or stressed (especially after waiting all day to receive Beta #1), we don’t feel like cooking. Rather than getting take out, we went for a home-cooked meal with people who support us. We didn’t stay out too late as I’ve been exhausted lately. I was in bed by 9pm which is very unlike me. I clearly needed it, so I went with it.

We had a funeral yesterday for my husband’s best friend’s dad. I seriously contemplated not going as I wasn’t sure I wanted to be around sorrow. I decided that I should go to support my husband. It also was a good opportunity to practice love and forgiveness. I made sure to protect myself before I left and brought a few crystals along to help. Throughout the ceremony, I sent reiki to those that seemed to be suffering the most. I honestly didn’t feel much sorrow (thank goodness!) until we went to the grave site. My mother-in-law and father-in-law were both crying. It was a very enlightening moment to see them express such emotion (as my husband comes from a family that rarely shows emotion). Overall, I had a decent day visiting with friends and family. It really made the value of family obvious to me. A man died who left behind the legacy of his family. I hope that one day I have children and grand-children who have such fond memories of me.

Today, I had a chick flick marathon since cable TV is crawling with them leading up to Valentine’s Day. I also played a game on my phone that I downloaded after so many of you suggested it would be a good distraction.¬†Boy were you right! I’m currently building a butterfly colony. Figured it would maybe give me good vibes since the butterfly is a symbol of fertility. ūüôā¬†

I haven’t let myself get excited, but¬†I continue¬†to acknowledge¬†my baby(ies?). I’ve been connecting my heart to my¬†womb and sending my babies love.¬†Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized I can be connected to my babies without being as emotionally attached as I was before we lost our little girl.

This whole process has really given me an opportunity feel how different it is when you take thing as them come.

One of my best friends said to me, “It’s out of your control now“.

She’s undoubtedly right.

What will be will be.

Tomorrow will give us a better idea.

I’m glad I’ve been able to find a sense of calm this weekend as we move through our wait. One day at a time…

9dp5dt: Ugh, stay positive!

My FRER was a squinter. This is taking me back to a not-so-pleasant experience known as our ectopic pregnancy.

That being said,  I was on HCG boosters that cycle. My squinters then were falsified by the addition of fake HCG,  making them even more so squinters or perhaps not even real BFPs.

It’s definitely more positive that my body is producing HCG earlier on its own.

At this point in the game,  my husband and I have vowed to continue taking it one day at a time. We know what our risks are, but we will focus on the positive.

I’m not going to POAS anymore. We will wait out the betas. Like my good friend Alicia said yesterday, Beta #2 on Monday will give us a better idea of where we stand.

I also forgot to tell you. This whole POAS situation came from my thrush. You heard that right. I got thrush after transfer and went to my family doc on Tuesday for meds. I tested Tuesday as I wasn’t sure if the meds would depend on my pregnant status. Anyway,¬† thrush can be caused by antibiotics (check) or pregnancy (check).

Warning: this is nasty…

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Two days into meds,¬† it’s already looking better than this photo.

So now, I’m praying that my thrush clears up, for appropriately rising betas,¬† a healthy baby in my womb and joyous full term pregnancy.

Fingers-crossed. Baby dust sprinkled.

We can do this. One day at a time…